WHAT IS A BODY LIFT?
Most surgeons refer to a body lift as a belt lipectomy where an incision is circumferentially placed around the abdomen, flanks and back. This type of surgery involves three procedures in one: a tummy tuck, an outer thigh lift and a buttock lift. This provides a better result for the abdominal wall, while tightening the inner and outer thighs and buttocks. The goal of a body lift is to remove excess skin and fat in these areas while attaching the soft tissues at the line of closure to the underlying fascial system to obtain the best results.
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR A BODY LIFT?
This surgery is commonly performed on individuals who have experienced significant weight loss and have an excess of skin and/or fat. However, body lifting is also appropriate for patients who desire tightening of the skin to counter the effects of childbearing and aging.
The best candidate for a body lift has had stable weight for a minimum of nine months to a year. They should be participating in a regular exercise program and eating a healthy diet. Individuals who have had bariatric surgery should wait at least a year after the surgery to allow any health problems associated with obesity to improve. Women who have plans for future pregnancies may be advised to postpone the procedure until after childbearing.
HOW IS A BODY LIFT PERFORMED?
At his practice in Little Rock, AR, Dr. English performs body lift procedures under general anesthesia either in his surgical facility or a hospital, depending on the scope of work to be done and the health of the patient. The time required for the procedure ranges from three to five hours. Although hidden by clothing, a scar is unavoidable. The scar may widen and require surgical improvement at a later time. However, scar revision surgery is uncommon. Every effort is made to minimize the size of the scar and make it as inconspicuous as possible through such methods as taping the incisions post-operatively. In spite of the scar, most of Dr. English’s body lift patients are more than enthusiastic about their results.
WHAT IS RECOVERY LIKE AFTER A BODY LIFT?
Because body lifting is a major surgical procedure, it requires significant recovery time. Discomfort following surgery is managed with oral medication. Drainage tubes may be required and if so, they will need personal home care for up to four days. A compression garment may be worn for two to six days. Following surgery, there are restrictions on activities, such as exercise and lifting. Most patients require four to six weeks of recovery before returning to normal activities and six to eight weeks before exercising. Our body lift patients typically resume work with some restrictions after three to four weeks.
Individuals may experience reduced sensation in the treated areas, which can be permanent and the abdominal scars may appear to worsen as they heal during the first few weeks or months. It may take up to six to nine months before they flatten and lighten in color. The final result of this surgery is usually achieved nine months to a year after the procedure. As previously stated, body lift patients can be some of the happiest people when they are rid of the stigma associated with excessive weight gain and loss or loose skin from the aging process.
If you would like to look and feel your very best, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jim English, triple board certified in cosmetic procedures for the face and body. We look forward to seeing you during your body lift consultation.